Dear Trainers,

Last week, I adopted a one year old female pit mix named Roxy. The shelter we adopted her from said she had been a stray, so we have no information on her past.

Generally, she is the sweetest, most playful girl you could imagine. However, it was quickly obvious that she had no leash training and was not at all house trained.

At first, I didn't want to crate train her (didn't do it on my previous dogs and thought it might have been a bit cruel to leave her locked up all day), but I saw the light and got a crate after I realized the only place she wanted to pee was inside and when I left her home alone (even for a few minutes), she would go crazy and eat everything she could find (luckily not my furniture ).

So, I have been crating her for the past few days, but she still doesn't seem to get it and seems to really hates being in the crate (she whines and yelps and has cut her nose trying to get out). Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to get her acclimated to the crate, but I have tried to make it as comfortable a place for her as possible. I give her kongs and bones and play music when I leave, and I make sure she is let out for long walks. I take her on a 2 mile run in the morning (so she should be tired when she gets crated), come back to the apartment at lunch to let her out again, and take her on at least 2 long walks at night.

The problem is that Roxy still doesn't understand that she should go to the bathroom outside. Despite all of my efforts to give her time to relieve herself, she has only gone to the bathroom outside twice. Of course, I praised her excessively and gave her treats to try to reinforce this, but she continues to mess inside. Yesterday, after walking her for 30 minutes at lunch (and her not going to the bathroom), she pooped and peed in her crate. When I came back home from work about 3 hours later, she was sitting in it and seemed to not have that "clean" instinct. I took her outside for another long walk, and once again, she would not go. When put her back inside her crate and left to run an errand, I returned to find her sitting in her poop and pee again.

First, I don't understand why she won't go to the bathroom outside. I live in New York and walk her on both the concrete and the grass--we spend hours in the park. I give her ample time to go, but she won't. This is particularly frustrating because I don't have the opportunity to reinforce the good behavior. I also don't understand how she has so much poop and pee stored up to soil her crate so much when I leave. I keep her on a strict feeding and drinking schedule and try not to give her too much food or water before she has to go in the crate.

Please help! I know I haven't had her for a long time and that house training doesn't happen overnight, but I can't even get her to do the right thing so I can praise her for it, and I'm never home at the right time to catch her in the act and punish her for doing the wrong thing.

Thank you,
Tired of Cleaning Up Poop and Pee